Hey everyone, so we’re gonna take a break from the constant stream of shameless self-promotion (go to www.Imarriedanalienfilm.com to get tickets to the thing I’m not going to promote that I wrote and am in with an awesome group of people) and talk about something in the world. Something that affects us all… or at least some of us all. But anyway, despite all of this shameless unself promotion (seriously though go to http://www.Imarriedanalienfilm.com ) here’s a nice TV double billing of reviews for two comic book TV shows.
The Plot: Arrow is the story of Oliver Queen a somewhat unfortunately named man who was stranded on an island for several years. When he returns to Starling City though he seems to have gained more skills on the island then the ones you might think: such as dirt eating, fire making, and a killer coconut throw. Oliver has returned with a bow and a strong sense of justice and murder and punching… and things. So Oliver sets out to clean up the mean streets of Starling and save his city from itself (if this starts to sound very Batmany there’s a reason for that.)
Some thoughts: Rather than go straight up pros and cons with these shows I’m just gonna give an overview of the shows basics.
The first thing you need to know about Arrow is that it gets better. The first episodes of this show… they kind of suck. Not horribly but… still mostly. At first Arrow is all murdery and Oliver Queen delivers a lot of monologues (horribly written monologues) and the show just kind of spirals around itself. It comes across as a little pretentious and takes itself a little too seriously.
When Arrow picks up and gets good (it does get good I promise) it does so because the show becomes about Oliver and Company (obvious reference to a Disney movie no one has ever watched.) Arrow is interesting (and it does get interesting I promise) because of the characters around “the Arrow.” Dig, and Felicity, and Sarah and even Officer Lance as played by Paul Blackthorn; these are the characters that orbit around Oliver Queen and make the show interesting. It’s at it best when all of the characters around Oliver come together and not just when the Arrow is wandering around shooting people with awesome martial arts skills and then complaining about how terrible it is that he has to be awesmoe and murder criminals.
Despite all of the improvements that got made to the show there are a couple annoying little things I’d like to mention (or more accurately one HUGE problem.) Thea (Oliver’s sister) is PHENOMINALLY annoying. And it’s not just her character (though her character is annoying and complainy and stupid) it’s more that the actresses voice sounds with every syllable like her vocal chords are commiting ritual suicide via badger. They keep threatening to kill her character off and frankly if/when that happens the show will drastically improve. Drastically.
In conclusion: Arrows evolution from boringly generic to actually quite enjoyable took a little bit but it definitely has become something worth watching (especially for comic book fans.) The characters are interesting, the fight choreography is well done, and the acting (while by no means superb) holds up pretty well. Arrow is at its best when it focuses on the world and the big picture storyline and so far that’s been what they’ve been doing with the vastly superior Season 2.
And now on to show 2.
Agents of Shield
The Plot: Agents of shield is Marvel’s first attempt to venture into the realm of TV and it follows a group of Agents… of Shield. They spend their time on a big old plane delivering snappy one-liners and occasionally running across people/places from the movies in a mildly interesting sort of way. Until that is Captain America 2 came out, then (not to deliver any spoilers) the whole show changed for… reasons. And it became awesome.
For a long time Agents of Shield struggled with direction. There was a weird overall plotting thing with some oddly named villain that wasn’t at all intimidating and episode to episode their wasn’t really much going on. The biggest problem probably being the lack of a villain. Spending time wandering around saying “who’s the villain???” Is not nearly as fun as, ya know, having an actual villain… The characters were good but not enough to make up for a lack of a carrying plot. And then Captain America 2 changed everything. Now there’s actually a storyline and interesting stuff happens and the characters have conflict and interesting things happening to them. Honestly the last few episodes have been genuinely great, gripping television. It was a LONNNGGG time coming but Agents of Shield has all the sudden become kind of exactly what we wanted it to be.
It’s hard to unqualifyingly recommend Agents of Shield. The show wouldn’t be as good now if you hadn’t watched the whole series but the whole series is a bit of a slog. It’s not bad per se… but it’s not necessarily good. It’s like a roller coaster except the first ten minutes of the ride is all boring straight sections and slow relaxing music… played by seven year old untrained musicians… but it gets good!! I promise!!
So there you go guys, two reviews for the price of one!! And two shows that (for different reasons) started out slow but have since matured into decent/excellent shows!!
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next Monday!!